Growing Up Military: 3 Tips I Would Give My Younger Self

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“Bloom where you are planted.”

“Military Brat.” 

Do either sound familiar?

I spent 23 years as a military child, and these are just a few things I wish I could tell my younger self and those who are now walking in those same footsteps. 

growing up military

Megan and her dad

Advice to my Younger Self

Embrace each new experience. New schools, new friends, new homes, new duty stations. I had the blessing of living overseas in Europe during my father’s active duty service. How cool it was to explore castles and participate in a Volksmarch, all in one weekend! Of course, each new adventure also came with saying goodbye to dear friendships at our previous duty station. That also meant I had to build many new ones in return. Many of those friends are still in my life today, over 20 years later! Soak it all in, whether your new temporary home is stateside or OCONUS. Time goes by really, really fast.

Lean on your family. I had a mom who was strong as an oak during many deployments and kept us involved in sports and other activities, all while managing a household as well. I also had a brother who was by my side experiencing all the same challenges and still is a constant in my life. My dad, who was the epitome of ultimate sacrifice and was always present in our lives, even when he was away. You are in a household facing similar experiences, and they are your best support during the toughest times and the best times.

growing up military

Megan and her brother

Lastly, sprinkle positivity in every new opportunity.  I always told myself, “Because of this lifestyle, I get to experience so many wonderful things and places I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.” Man are the experiences vast! Is the service Member leaving again? “Because of this time away, I get to write them cool letters about my days back home.” Moving again and having to say goodbye to friends? “Because of this move, I will experience a fun and new location, and make even more memories and friendships when I get there!” 

growing up military

Megan and her mom

I am now married to an active duty service member, and together we are raising a wonderfully brilliant, creative, and resilient military child. I often look back on my experiences as the child of a service member and am eager to show our daughter all the opportunities that exist in our special and unique lifestyle. I know firsthand it can be hard leaving home and loved ones, but I can tell you that you’re on an adventure to build a strong and unique community that will follow you wherever you go next. One day, our daughter will look back and appreciate how absolutely rewarding and amazing being a ‘military child’ can be.

Megan Ehrman is the Social Media Assistant and a Coach Trainer for Tiny Troops Soccer. She began as a coach at our Fort Benning location before transitioning into her current position. She brings an educational background with her. Megan has a passion for helping children and loves assisting our Tiny Troops community.